1964 Porsche 356 Cabriolet Emory Special
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The 1998 Emory special was built to be driven. The car was completed the first week of August and was driven to Monterey immediately. Monterey was only the first stop on a 3800-mile journey. Rod, Amy, and their two-month old son Zayne stopped in San Diego, Bishop, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Boise, and Portland before returning home to McMinnville, Oregon. Their journey lasted five weeks and they returned home without any problems.
The Emory Special began its life as a 1964 Cab. We wanted to build a car that had lines that would complement the original Porsche design. This car was completely redesigned from the ground up.
The design and vision came from Gary and Rod Emory. The car was built for and dedicated to Amy Emory for her patience and love for these cars and our creativity.
The Car was built at Parts Obsolete/Emory Motorsports in McMinnville OR. Our team of four worked on it full time in order to have the car done and in Monterey to celebrate Porsche 50th Anniversary.
We started with a 64 cabriolet. The nose was leaned back 11 degrees to flatten out the hood opening and to lean the headlights back. The upper horn grills were eliminated and the lower ones were opened up and funneled back to feed air to the brakes. A front/ center oil cooler was added and a grill was formed in the lower part of the nose.
The front and rear wheel openings were raised 2.5 inches so that the entire 16-inch wheel could be visible with a low stance.
The entire windshield frame was leaned back 15 degrees for the desired rake. The center of the cowl was lowered 1.75 inches, and the fresh air vent was removed.
The original dash was removed and replaced by a 1960 Roadster dash.
The side profile was completely changed in the lower half. Rather than coming down straight from the bottom of the doors and finishing off with a rocker. The rocker was eliminated. Half way down the door the body and door begin to roll back towards the car. It rolls all the way to the belly of the car. This contour follows through to the wheel openings to give it a Spyder/RSK look.
New doors were built using the upper half of the original door and fabricating the lower portion to roll under. On the inside of the door we took a Spyder approach. We eliminated the door panel and rolled an opening into the door making the whole door a door pocket. It also widens the feel of the cockpit by 12 inches to give the car a roomy feel. Roll up windows were eliminated and replaced with drop in lexan windows. They utilize speedster side curtain eyelets and locator pins.
The removable hardtop has been modified to match the rake of the windshield. The glass in the hard top has been replaced with lexan.
The tail of the car has been changed drastically. We started by removing the bumper indentions on the side and replacing the center of the tail panel with the center of a nose panel. By utilizing the nose and the lower portion of the hood opening we were able to graph that into the rear of the car and round out the tail. This also lengthened our decklid opening by 11 inches.
A new hood was fabricated to fit the much flatter opening giving it a 550 Spyder look in the front. The skin was formed using an English wheel and wrapped over a frame like a factory hood. An opening was also placed in the center of the hood for the flip top gas lid to come through.
A new longer decklid was also made using the same technique as the hood. Reverse Spyder style louvers were also hand formed into the lid for extra airflow to the motor.
The rear taillights were set into the body by hand forming the metal using a hammer and dolly. The front turn signals were removed from the body and placed inside the H1 headlight assemblies.
The front suspension was modified by raising the original beam up into the car 1.5 inches. This was done so that with the lower stance of the car the geometry is not changed. Camber and caster modifications were made to the front spindles.
The rear suspension has been changed from swing axle to IRS. A 944 Turbo rear torsion tube and aluminum trailing arms were used. The torsion tube had to be narrowed by four inches in order to keep the rear wheels under the stock width fenders. Early 911 torsion bars were used. The spring plates are adjustable which makes it easy to play with the ride height.
Koni adjustable shocks and steering dampener were used.
The tub that we started with needed the typical rust repair and restoration. Since it is an open car we wanted to stiffen up the chassis. 1.75” .120 wall tubing was used from the front suspension back through the rear to the rear motor mounts. A roll bar with a lower cage was all incorporated into the structure using 1.5” .120 wall tubing.
A factory 911 accessory trailer hitch is built in to the chassis and is accessed through the hole above the exhaust.
Big brembo four piston caliper and vented rotors were used.
The engine is unique, it was designed and built by Advanced Performance Engineering, lead by Dean Polopolus. It is a 911-4, an innovative and powerful 4-cylinder 911 type engine, case, and components. A lightweight high performance engine, the 911-4 is based on proven components of the standard 911 engine.
The engine is 2250 cubic centimeters, with a bore and stroke of 97mm x 74mm. The pistons are Venolia, the rods are Carillo and the cams have 906 profiles. The 911-4 runs 48 IDA Webers on top of 3.o ltr twin plug heads. The engine has a unique sound since it does not fire at 180-degree intervals, rather at 120, 240, and 120. The distributor is a late Carrera 2 unit that has been modified to run a German Bosch pulse generator. A pair of Bosch CD boxes fire the motors at just under 11 to 1 compression. The 911-4 runs 24 degrees total distributor advance and dynos out at 220 plus reliable horsepower.
An early close ratio 901 5 speed with a A F M S X ratio.
Wheels and Tires
The wheels are a factory alloy space saver spare. They have been widened to 16X7 inches. 16-inch wheels were used for the look and also they were necessary to clear the front brakes
The tires that were used are Dunlop SP 8000 (205/55 ZR 16)
Tan German square weave carpet was used. The upholstery on the dash was eliminated and the entire dash was filled and painted car color to resemble a Spyder look.
The drivers seat is a 911 ST Recaro race seat. The passenger seat is an early 911 Recaro sport seat that reclines for traveling. The seats were upholstered to match in black leather with perforated centers. An infant seat was also upholstered to match and sits behind the driver. Rob Peterson of RLP Auto Interiors in Las Vegas did the seats.
The gauges that were used are 160 Speedo, large early 911 tach, and a 911S combo. They were all restored with Mercedes bezels and convex lenses.
The fuel tank is a hand formed 16 gal aluminum tank with a Fuel Safe cell inside.
Dry weight is 2050 lbs.
The towing capacity is 1800 lbs.
People involved in the project
The car was built as an Emory Family project. Gary and Rod Emory have been known in the past for building some unique cars. This car went a step further. The project began in September 1997 and in order to complete the project for Porsches 50th anniversary in Monterey we asked a friend and craftsmen Jim Nichols and Gordon Wilder to join us in this project.
In June just 2 months before Monterey Jim and Gordon jumped in full time to work directly with Rod. In two months we still needed to form the outer skin of the car, build doors, hood and deck lid, paint the car and assemble it.
As Rod Jim and Gordon built the car Gary supplied them with parts, ideas, and guidance. It was Gary’s experience, vision and creativity that brought this project together.
Gordon Wilder and Mike Adams assisted Rod and Jim with the work throughout these two months.